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Stream: New releases from Ty Segall, Swerve, Junior Mesa and Weathers

today08/17/2021 2

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As we try to catch up from a couple weeks of being sidelined [please see our latest playlist post for background], here are capsule reviews of new releases from Ty Segall, Swerve, Junior Mesa and Weathers.


TY SEGALL, “Harmonizer”

On his three millionth album (just kidding, this is solo record No. 13), Ty Segall trawls the universe for more ways to make his guitar sound like the ball of molten lava rolling down the mountainside at you. The surprise release and his first album in two years was co-produced by Cooper Crain, yielding a collection that’s gooey with synth, harmonies and energy. Get your buzz with “Whisper” and hang for tight garage-rocker “Feel Good,” on which the artist’s wife Denée Segall takes the lead (here’s the new video). And mark your calendar for Segall’s run of shows at the Teragram Ballroom: Sept. 5, Sept. 6, Sept. 13 and Sept. 14.


SWERVE, “Ruin Your Day”

If you’re fuming over the political climate, economic disparity and/or the “End of the World,” L.A. quartet Swerve has the irascible guitars to fit your mood. The band — Gregory Mahdesian, Ryan Berti, Brandon Duncan and Mark Gardner — worked with producer Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Army Navy, et al.) on “Ruin Your Day,” settling in to a vaguely pissed-off (but more collegiate and sober) Replacements vibe, mixed with the chiming sounds of ’90s Britpop. So temper your overall enthusiasm with “My Enemy Is Dead,” embrace the chaos with “Escape” … and take that, “Little Rich Kids.”


JUNIOR MESA, “Cirque Du Freak”

L.A.-via-Bakersfield free spirit Junior Mesa creates a vivid, colorful world on “Cirque Du Freak,” his self-produced second EP. Inspired by his struggles with epilepsy and the personal “freakout” he experienced after relocating to L.A. after his 2019 “Peace” EP, he channels the psychedelic pop and rock of the late ’60s and early ’70s (the “floral pomp” of that era, as he says) on a thoroughly trippy five-song collection. The ringmaster in a circus full of strange characters, he fights through “Paranoia Dreams” to find a voice to which he can “Listen Close.” It sounds heavy, but as Ryan Baxley’s video for “What’s Enough Pt. 2” shows, there’s always room for a falsetto love song.


WEATHERS, “Pillows & Therapy”

As rock albums go, “Pillows & Therapy” is your shrink’s couch — a comfy place to rehabilitate your outlook. Cameron Boyer says all the right things (even if some are clichés) in all the right ways, polishing their modern pop-rock sound with assists from songwriter/producer Tim Pagnotta (Walk the Moon, Neon Trees) and producer Drew Pearson (Ke$ha, Switchfoot). It’s not like Weathers’ obsession with mental health and personal transformation is new — “Happy Pills” was one of their early singles. But now the prescription is stronger: “C’est La Vie” and “Feel Good” do indeed feel at least OK, and if you’re headed for “Rehab,” remember that “Talking Is Hard” but generally good for what ails you.


||| Also: For a recap of the M.A.G.S. album “Say Things That Matter,” see the “Wait” video.

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